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Chapter 23: You’ll Never Find a Lion in the Lion’s Club

But the majority consists of the idiots. They go on living their past again and again. It is said that history repeats itself. That is true as far as ninety-nine percent of humanity is concerned; it can’t be otherwise. It has to repeat itself because these people go on clinging to their past, and they go on doing the same again and again.

They cluster into groups; and this has to be a commitment because why should the group take on the burden of you? You have to pay something in return. Why should the group bother about your safety? You have to do something for the group - that is your commitment. You say, “I am ready to die for you. If you are ready to die for me, I am ready to die for you.” This is a simple bargain.

And why are they fanatically committed? They have to be fanatically committed because if you start being conscious, alert, you will see that it is such an idiotic thing.

There is no need to belong to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party. But a country like Germany, one of the most educated, cultured, sophisticated - the country that has given the longest list of thinkers and philosophers to the world - falls victim to an utter idiot. And a man like Martin Heidegger, one of the most important philosophers of this age, perhaps the most important, was a follower of Adolf Hitler.

One cannot believe it. This is simply inconceivable about a man like Martin Heidegger, who has no comparison anywhere in the world: of his contemporaries, all look like pygmies. His thinking was so complex that he could never finish any of his books.

Heidegger would start, he would do the first part, and then the whole world would be waiting for the second part to appear; and it would never appear, for the simple reason that by the end of the first part he had created so many problems for himself that now he did not know where to move, where to go, what to do, or how to resolve it all. He simply kept silent and started another book!

And that’s what he did his whole life. The first part, the second part; then the third part is missing - no book is complete. Yet even those incomplete pieces are simply miracles of the mind. The fineness of his logic and the depth of his approach.. But even this man could not see that this Adolf Hitler was a madman. And he was also fanatically committed to Adolf Hitler.

From where does this urge to be fanatically committed come?

It comes from your doubt:

You cannot really convince yourself that what you are doing is right, so you have to overdo it. You have to shout loudly so that you can hear; you have to convince others so that in return you can be convinced. You have to convert others, so that seeing you have converted thousands of people you are at ease: There must be some truth in what you are saying; otherwise, why are so many people convinced? You can be a fool, but so many people can’t be foolish.

Just think of Adolf Hitler: he can think of himself as a fool, but what about Martin Heidegger? He has convinced Martin Heidegger; now no other proof is needed. This man is proof enough that what he is saying is right.

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